Thursday, January 7, 2016

Pantone and Me

I've always loved looking at crayons, paint chips and fabric swatches and seeing what names have been attached to each color by a designer somewhere and then thinking about how those colors and names relate to my own experiences. And I recently was thrilled when my granddaughter asked me to read the color names on some old crayons while she colored. Until my daughter started working as a graphic designer, I wasn't aware of Pantone, but now I pay careful attention each year as the color of the year is announced. Sometimes I like it; sometimes not so much, but it's always interesting to see what the name is and how the color plays out in fashion, interior design, and quilting. 

So according to the Pantone site here, there are two colors for 2016: Rose Quartz and Serenity, which at first glance struck me as baby pink/baby blue and then, "Oh no, those are country pink and blue." Now I understand why those colors were picked and also the idea that they can be blended in a modern way. And to be fair, they really are the colors of what I often said was my favorite color when I was a kid--Sky Blue Pink: that indefinable color of a great sunset. So maybe they are growing on me. Not that I would decorate with them or buy clothing with those colors. Or would I?

I started looking around my house at things that are just "there." So much so that I don't really see them anymore. Until now. Here's what I found:

This quilt has hung on my living room wall for almost as long as we've lived in this house (20+ years). It's based, I think, on a design by Alex Anderson from back in the days when I watched her show Simply Quilts. The blocks are 11 1/2 inches and 5 3/4 inches. I'm not sure how I got to those measurements--maybe they were 12 and 6 inches before quilting? It's got lots of stipple quilting in the background of the blocks--all by hand. The fabric and thread are cotton; the batting is most likely polyester. I forgot to take a picture of the back for this post, but it's a small floral print with the same colors as the front, with four-inch strips of the goldish fabric along two sides to make it big enough. The blue and green have held up pretty well, but the pinks and goldish colors have faded a bit. The whole quilt is 46 by 46 inches. It was made to match our couch:

Well, look at that--more pink and blue (I mean, Rose Quartz and Serenity). And then we move on to the family room, where this quilt has been on one chair or another for almost as long.

Really, I haven't decorated in country colors. At least I don't think so. (Gulp) This quilt is a great snuggle quilt. In fact, I'm under it right now. This is about 53 inches square, with squares a little over 2 inches. I quilted it with outlining and my own vine design. 

And here is part of my floral pottery collection in the family room:

Hmmm, pinks and blue there, too. And that pillow in the living room? That gingham looking fabric also appears as curtains in my daughter's old room, aka guest room, aka treadle quilting room. And look what colors are there in the very outdated wallpaper border that I can't bring myself to take down. 

After my little tour around the house, I went through some old photos to see what else I've made with Rose Quartz and Serenity over the years. I already showed some quilts in my last TBT post. I think I even made a kind of snarky comment about "country colors." But here are some more I found.

Just blue

I made this quilt in November 1986 (and a duplicate in January or February 1987). I think I sold the first one on consignment and the second one to a client. It is 19 1/2 inches by 15 inches. At that time I was keeping track of quilting thread used as one measure of pricing. This one took 20 yards, 9 inches. I also noted that it took 14 hours to make. 

And here's a pink quilt:
Oh, and look what color I'm wearing in the picture!

What a cute photo bomber. My son. He's 32 years old now.
This quilt is about 13 inches square. The design is based on some textured Hallmark wrapping paper I hoarded had for while. I made it in the spring of 1988, and sold it to a client. (Hand quilted with 18 1/2 yards of thread, for anyone who cares.)

Here's a quilt with a little darker version of the colors:

I made this Ohio Star with mini Churn Dashes in July 1987. It's about 10 3/4 by 13 inches overall. (9 1/2 yards of quilting thread). I sold it to a client.

And one more:

(Either crooked photography or crooked scanning--there really is binding on the other end.)

More pink and blue!

This quilt was commissioned by a neighbor for her dining room. I finished it in March 1989. It measures 20 1/4 by 33 1/2 inches. (63 3/4 yards of quilting thread if anyone cares. Ha!) 

So that's my take on the Pantone colors of the year. I've made my peace with them. And with the fact that there are still a lot of bits of country colors Rose Quartz and Serenity in my home even though it's not country. Really! (I hope.) I'm really looking forward to what quilters are going to do with Rose Quartz and Serenity. But I don't think it will be me. I have enough. Maybe.

I'm linking up with Jenn at Quarter Inch from the Edge for Throwback Thursday. The button is on the right. 


Yvonne @ Quilting Jetgirl said...

Thanks for sharing your outlook on the Pantone colors of the year. I think that their color of the year typically pushes my buttons at first but after a bit of thought and reflection they do seem better over time.

Heidi said...

Oh, I love this post! I thought the old adage when I saw the Pantone colors, "what goes around comes around" haha!

I adore Just Blue!

Jenn @ A Quarter Inch from the Edge said...

Ahead of the colour trends... again! I have not in any way made my peace with this year's Pantone fiasco. I can't. I just can't. Okay, enough ranting. There is definitely some amazing quilting in the projects you shared. But the real question is, are there any left for next month? :) Thanks for linking up with Throwback Thursday @ A Quarter Inch from the Edge!

elle said...

Lovely combining of rose and quartz (blue).

Lisa J. said...

I'm with Jenn on the Pantone colours of the year....I guess they aren't bright enough for me although I do like your couch so maybe they aren't so bad in smaller amounts. What an amazing amount of quilting you've done over the years. I wonder if when next years colours are announced you will have just as many quilts!

Paige said...

Thank you for sharing these focusing on the pantone colors. I absolutely love your pottery collection!

Bernie Kringel said...

I know you've been quilting for more than a few years but honestly, I cannot believe how many gorgeous pieces you have made. Will you come teach me how to hand quilt and have it look like someone older than 5 year old? Please?

Once again, I totally relate to your color schemes. They are so familiar I feel like I am looking at my house when we lived in Central CA. In fact, I had that same wallpaper border. It made me smile to see that you also have it. It was in the house prior to my current one and I loved it. I wonder if it is still there?

Your quilting is gorgeous Janine and I loved hearing the thread count. I think it is so interesting to use that as a basis for determining the price. When I lived in PA and would frequent the Amish quilt shops, they also priced their quilts according to the amount of thread used.

Lara B. said...

Your walk down memory lane is the perfect illustration of how colors and decorating styles cycle back again over time. What a lot of wonderful quilting you've done Janine! Lisa made me laugh - I bet you'll have quilts to show for every Pantone color of the year.

Cheryl said...

These are some great examples of quilts using the pantone colors, very nice!

Kaja said...

I really enjoyed this post, Janine, and seeing some of your quilts. I would have said those colours weren't for me, but I shall have to go and look again, with clearer eyes.

Linda said...

I really enjoyed this very thought-provoking post! And oh my gosh, I used that very same "outdated wallpaper border" in another house and still have a couple feet left that I can't bear to throw away. :)

sin soleng said...

Oh, I love this post! I thought the old adage when I saw the Pantone colors, "what goes around comes around" haha!